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Partially un-raveling top wrap to fit tuner

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by kumimajava, Oct 6, 2017.


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  1. kumimajava

    kumimajava

    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Bit of a two-pronged question this one.

    I've got a bass where I could get the action almost - but not quite - low enough, with the G-saddle bottoming out. Since I've used F-bass exposed core strings before & love the sound, I figured using those would drop the action a little bit, and indeed that worked just right.

    Unfortunately, the way the tuners are set up on the bass, the low-B tuner is really close to the nut, and when installing the low-B string, some of the "thick" winding went round the tuner & the string broke. I know it's not recommended for the "thick" wrapping to go round the tuner, but I've had other strings installed that way, with no problems.

    I also know that the usual recommendation in this situation is to "string through body" to make sure the top/thick winding doesn't go through the tuner. That's not an option on this bass, unless I start drilling holes in it (which I'd prefer to avoid).

    So, I'm thinking that there are two possible solutions:

    1) un-wind a part of the top-wrapping on the F-bass strings, to make sure there's less pressure on the tuner & the string doesn't snap.

    2) Use the F-bass strings in E to G, and a different brand Low-B. Or indeed, use some other brand on B-D, and just use the F-bass high-G. I know this may be a bit unorthodox, but I've come across some threads on this forum where people mix & match different strings...

    With regard to 1: has anyone tried this? would it likely cause any problems with the sound? Insofar as I can tell, it's only the bit of the string between nut & bridge that matters for sound/tone, but I'm happy to be corrected if this is wrong.

    Regarding 2: which brand's Low-B would you recommend as a good sonic match for the F-bass exposed cores? (or conversely, which B-E-A-D set would match well with an F-bass "G").

    Any comments warmly welcome :)
     
  2. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Brand and stringset?
     
  3. kumimajava

    kumimajava

    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    F-bass exposed core, 5-string set.
    Bass is a Curbow Petite 5.
     
  4. Linnin

    Linnin

    Jul 19, 2012
    Linningrad, Earth
    Good Lord, Dude, buy a Fender!
    Sheesh, no small wonder you're having problems.
    Good Luck to you my brother.
     
    Root 5 and kumimajava like this.
  5. kumimajava

    kumimajava

    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Well, that is one way of getting round the issue - let's see whether there may be other options.

    Cheers, and all best wishes you way too :)
     
  6. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    I wouldn't try to unravel the string's outerwrap, I don't think the string going around the tuning peg will affect anything negatively, as long as you've got sufficient downward force on the bass' nut.

    I'm not familiar with the bass you have, but if it's a bolt on neck, you can take the neck off and put a shim in the neck pocket. Normally a match book cover or business card will do the trick. That way you'll be able to adjust your G-string saddle again, should you switch to a non tapered set of strings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    kumimajava likes this.
  7. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    The fortunate thing about TB is we have a breadth of members that can give articulate answers beyond "buy a Fender".

    What's the scale length of this bass? As was mentioned, a shim could fix the low-g issue, but it could be as simple as using other strings.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2017
    Buzz E, petrus61, gebass6 and 3 others like this.
  8. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    Mixing string brands is a crap-shoot, with trial-and-error the expensive methodology. Many of my basses have a small amount of the big part around B and sometimes even E wrapped around their posts without breaking. I'd advise you to wrap around the post "from the top down" so that the earlier wraps hold the fat part tight against the bottom of the post and exert downward pressure on the nut, as suggested above. I find that's critical. I'd recommend you buy another B-string and try again. If you've already wrapped it as I suggested and it broke, then sure, try other brands/types, but maybe a whole new set. A neck-pocket shim could help, but make sure your truss rod is where it should be first, then check the saddles and intonation. Good luck and please keep us posted.
     
    kumimajava and Arthur U. Poon like this.
  9. Arthur U. Poon

    Arthur U. Poon

    Jan 30, 2004
    SLC, Utah -USA-
    Endorsing Artist: Mike Lull Custom Basses
    As TomB posted, mixing different brands of strings can be a crap shoot. I did a search to find out if F-Bass produces their strings in house, and from what I've read, they're very similar to LaBella Super Steps. Perhaps Bass Strings Online sells singles, and you can measure the length of the string, before the taper.
     
    kumimajava likes this.
  10. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    This is where knowing the winding length of strings on the Curbow Petite 5 is crucial, as that should address this issue and give the OP guidance to select strings.

    Having the full diameter of the B string around the post isn't ideal, but I've done it a couple of times (on my Willcox Saber VL with the smaller Gotoh tuners) and it should be okay. I would definitely NOT try to unwind the string, as the final cover has a dual purpose; building up the gauge but also locking in the other wraps below it.

    You CAN mix and match string sets; matching a stainless BEAD set with an exposed core stainless G won't be THAT hard. It will require a little more experimentation however.
     
  11. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    But why buy anything but a Fender? They're all perfect and never have any issues from the factory. They certainly would never use a shim in a Fender.

    ;)

    My suggestion would be to try a new set of strings altogether instead of trying to mix and match a set. You may find something you love even more that also allows a proper string job. I know this may not be option for you though.
     
    gebass6 and kumimajava like this.
  12. inanimate_carb

    inanimate_carb

    Aug 11, 2016
    Really?
     
    david bennett and gebass6 like this.
  13. DavC

    DavC Supporting Member

    May 17, 2005
    Tallmadge , Ohio
    not knowing what your saddles look like ... can you deepen the groove .? or shave some material off the bottom of the saddle .. ??

    does your bass require shorter gauge strings .. ?? 30 , 32 .... versus 34/35 scale lengths .. ??

    i've had my low B's wrap a little bit around the tuner with no issues over the decades .. ?? is there some kind of rather sharp edge somewhere on the tuning peg .. ?? or bridge saddle . ?
     
    kumimajava likes this.
  14. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Allowing the full-thickness wrap to hit the post is never the best-of-ideas...it can create all sorts of havoc in addition to premature breakage. You could slip a spacer over the B string before installing which would shift the winding length. What is the optimal winding length for that particular Curbow? Measure from the ballend to halfway between the nut and B tuner post.

    Riis
     
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  15. kumimajava

    kumimajava

    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Thanks for the many helpful suggestions - I really appreciate it :)

    I'll take your advice on not un-ravelling the top-winding, and look for other alternatives. Thanks for suggesting BSO, and the LaBella SuperSteps - will check those out.

    To answer a few questions that were asked:

    - Scale is standard 34 inches.
    - Neck relief is probably ok, around 0.2-0.3mm.
    - Saddles have a "roller" on them, so probably not a good idea to sand/file them down.

    I'll double-check for sharp parts, and also see whether putting a spacer at the ball-end would be sufficient.

    Shimming the neck would be the next step, but since I do like the F-bass strings anyway, and otherwise the setup of the bass was near perfect, I figured i'd try using the exposed-cores first :)
     
    TomB likes this.
  16. lz4005

    lz4005

    Oct 22, 2013
    That's what I was going to suggest if OP can't find a different set he likes with the right ball to taper length. Slip a ball or two clipped from an old set of strings over the B at the bridge end to move the taper to the right spot at the tuner end.
     
    TomB likes this.
  17. TomB

    TomB Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    Vermont
    ...just not so many balls that it moves the fat part of the string onto the saddle :roflmao:.
     
  18. kumimajava

    kumimajava

    May 19, 2010
    Tokyo, Japan
    Sounds like a plan - but I'm not sure I will find a ball-end with a diameter large enough for a .128 string to slip through. But will check :)
     
  19. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    You'll find appropriately sized spacers at your local hardware store.

    Riis
     
    lz4005 and kumimajava like this.
  20. ixlramp

    ixlramp

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    What's the issue with the Curbow?
    Some are saying this 'works' for them (but some may be using fat tuner posts), but is a bad idea as it puts extra stress on the tuner and headstock (through less leverage), and string, and causes worse tuning stability and reduces tuning precision.
    Your B probably broke due to having the full gauge around the tuner, this isn't even recommended for an E let alone a B.
    We mean file the base of the saddle that contacts the bridge, not the roller.

    Using spacers to shift the B string back (if it is enough of a shift while still having the tapered section on the saddle) is a good idea.
    Looking at photos it looks like you have enough downforce at the nut, seems no need to wind the B unusually low on the post.
     

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